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News & Case Results


Matz & Pietsch Blog

  • Oct

    10

    2014

    Does a fee-free guarantee mean I don’t have to pay anything if the lawyer doesn’t win?

    “Does a fee-free guarantee mean I don’t have to pay anything if the lawyer doesn’t win?”

    No, you are still responsible for other costs. Costs and fees are two different things.  Please read this so that you will have the information before you start interviewing attorneys about your auto injury or other personal injury case in Michigan.

    If you are hurt in an accident, or through what you think is the fault of someone else, you may be thinking about filing a legal claim or a lawsuit against them for money damages to pay you back for medical expenses, work time lost, property damage, or for the damage to your body and mind that happen when you get hurt.

    You have seen or heard many ads on TV, the Internet and on radio (billboards, too!) about lawyers who handle personal injury cases. Because these ads look and sound basically all the same, some of the lawyers try to sound different by suggesting that they have a special deal for you where you don’t have to pay anything to have a case.  While the wording is clever, doesn’t it sound like if you get money, the lawyer doesn’t take any of that, but gets paid separately, so it is “free” to hire the lawyer?

    Of course, this is not the way it really works.  The only thing that is “guaranteed” is that if you don’t get money, neither does the lawyer! Listen carefully to these ads, and watch the fine print flying by at the bottom of the picture (if you can even see it).  When you hire a lawyer—any lawyer—to handle a personal injury case, such as an automobile negligence case, you are responsible to pay all the expenses that the lawyer puts out to look into your case, and to prepare it, win or lose!  And there is more.

    If you don’t win your case (and many trials are won by the defense, not by the victim), you may also be responsible to pay many of the costs your opponent spent to fight you! 

    This is something to take very seriously. When you think about starting a case, you need to know that you are responsible to pay your own lawyer’s expenses win or lose, and you could be on the hook for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in opponent’s costs and penalties if you don’t win. Your lawyer doesn’t pay the penalties—you do.

    Case costs are different from attorney fees.  The costs are things the lawyers spend money on to evaluate and prepare your case—things like ordering your medical records, hiring experts to evaluate accident evidence, meeting with your doctors to find out what they have to say, paying court reporters to come to depositions, and paying court filing fees.  These expenses are paid up front by your lawyer, who keeps track of them as your case goes along. The defense is doing the same thing, keeping track of how much it is spending to fight you. In addition, the defense is paying its lawyer by the hour, so the more work that is done on your case, the more the costs are mounting both on your tab and at the opposing lawyer’s office.

    The attorney fee, on the other hand, is simply the percentage you and your lawyer agree upon that the lawyer will charge out of any settlement or verdict you get, after the case costs your lawyer has spent are first paid back to the lawyer.


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  • Oct

    08

    2014

    Does homeowners insurance cover car accidents?

    A question that comes up fairly often is whether a person hurt in a Michigan motor vehicle accident can use their homeowners insurance to pay for the medical bills they are receiving for accident-related injuries, or to get them a settlement for pain and suffering.

    While it’s a good thought, the fact is that homeowners insurance in Michigan almost always excludes motor vehicle accidents from coverage of those sorts of items. That’s one reason why homeowners insurance is usually quite a bit less expensive than auto insurance—homeowners coverage only applies to specific types of loss, usually on the insured property only, and excludes everything else.  If you look at your homeowners policy, you are likely to find language that excludes anything to do with an automobile or other motor vehicle.  That’s why you are required by Michigan law to insure your auto, truck or motorcycle before you go out on the road.


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  • Oct

    07

    2014

    What to do when involved in a hit and run

    Have you been injured by a hit-and-run driver?

    Many callers ask us if there is anything they can do if they or a family member get into an accident with a hit and run driver.  Even if the other driver fled the scene before anyone could identify the vehicle, there are still a variety of rights you or your family member may have if you were injured in the collision. This is especially true if you have evidence that the other driver was at fault (through witnesses, observations of the passengers in your vehicle, or through expert evaluation started by the police or your lawyer of the accident scene and damage to your vehicle).


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  • Apr

    28

    2014

    Don’t make these 7 costly mistakes

    There are a number of things you should do and should not do to protect your legal rights from the very beginning after you have had a serious injury incident. Please read the following guidelines carefully before you take any further action.  You may also download this free brochure now to keep with you and share with others. It may help you or someone you love avoid one of these common mistakes.


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  • Mar

    06

    2014

    If I pay more for a lawyer, won’t I get a bigger settlement?

    How many lawyer ads have you seen on TV, heard on the radio, or seen on a bus or billboard? Hundreds? Thousands? So many that you’d like to never see another one? How many of those ads have said “We charge the most, but we get the biggest settlements?”
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  • Mar

    06

    2014

    What insurance benefits can a motorcyclist hurt in a collision get?

    The rules covering motorcyclists are different from those covering other motorists involved in collisions. If you are a motorcyclist involved in a collision, you may qualify for no-fault benefits, and you may be able to file a claim for pain and suffering against the driver who caused the collision. There are conditions that apply to whether you will receive benefits.
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  • Mar

    06

    2014

    The No-Fault Law

    The no-fault law is designed so that it is simple to determine who pays the medical bills, wage losses, medically-necessary travel expenses, reimbursement for help with chores and nursing-type services that may be required by someone injured in a motor vehicle collision.
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  • Mar

    06

    2014

    Did You Know?

    1) Not all automobile injury attorneys charge the maximum 33 1/3 fee from your settlement. 33 1/3% is the maximum allowed under Michigan law.

    2) “No Fee Guarantee” is available from any lawyer who handles automobile injury cases for a percentage fee. Any lawyer who wants your case will make you an offer of “no fee unless we recover.” There is nothing special or unusual about such a “guarantee.” At Matz+Pietsch, we will make you the same “guarantee” for less than many firms charge.
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  • Mar

    06

    2014

    Can I settle my auto injury case without a lawyer?

    Yes, but the question isn’t whether you can do it, but whether you should do it. Something you should also be careful to consider is how much you will be charged by an attorney to assist you with your personal injury case, if you choose to hire an attorney.
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